A tornado has descended upon our house. Really.
Apparently, it stopped by a vineyard and a chicken fat factory en route. And it drowned out the sound of the timer on the toaster oven.
Good news: the house is still standing.
Yet, this is what happens when I cook.
Don't get me wrong, I love cooking. After a rough day, it's actually relaxing to come home and create something out of a pile of ingredients. Fall is the time for soup, one of my favorite things to make for sentimental reasons (and its forgiving nature). I turn on the radio, snack on baby carrots, and dance around the kitchen while I chop, saute, simmer, roast, etc.
I do get distracted from time to time, though. Even carried away.
This evening was a great example. The goal: make Asian Coq au Vin for book club tomorrow, 16 or 17 people. The recipe prepares enough chicken for 4 people. Some quick math was in order.
I decided to buy some bulk chicken thighs from BJs (cheap and tasty), up the number to 20, double the vegetables, and adjust the liquid as required. There was no math to this (home =/= lab). I just took my biggest pot and tried to make it work.
Ladies and gentlemen, it was a little messy. Browning the chicken in batches, without getting raw chicken juice all over the kitchen, was no joke. The pot was too heavy to lift and drain the grease, so I spooned it. Splash. I was unable to find fermented black beans, so I substituted black bean sauce, which threatened to char on the bottom of the dutch oven. Fortunately I simmered the aromatics in a few splashes of wine, preventing the scramble to get the rest of the ingredients in the pot.
When I finally returned the chicken to the pot, added the herbs, and covered it all with wine, I was proud of myself. I also realized it was going to take about ten years to simmer on the stovetop. So I improvised. A few months ago I made braised beef ribs, which simmered in the oven for hours to become a rich, succulent mass of awesome. So I cranked the oven and heaved the pot, covered, inside. It's bubbling away as I type, and smelling awesome.
But Mo, I hear you thinking. This sounds awfully like a food blog, Aren't you making the case otherwise?
Well, good reader...
Feeling pleased with myself, and rather hungry, I moved on to actual dinner: pita pizza (aka, Pita + handfuls of cheese + turkey pepperoni. No sauce. It was all the way down stairs). I piled the toppings on the pita, popped it in the toaster oven, set the oven to 350', and sat down to blog.
Formatting with this custom template is really easy. (EDIT: ...not so easy)
I got carried away. And then I wondered what that smell was.
For the record, twenty minutes was actually the perfect time to cook the pizza.
However, this attention to culinary detail - or lack of it - shows me I can't do a food blog. I admire the people who can, and I love to follow their blogs. But taking pictures of my cooking (and trying not to drop my phone into the pot while I do so) isn't really fun for me. Once the food is ready, I want to enjoy it and move on. And unless I'm baking, I often stray so far from the recipe that I can't recall what I did or why the next day.
So while I may talk about food, and cooking, I will do so because they're things I love to do. MoWrites, however, will have to find a different blog genre (blogre?).
Though the Coq au Vin really does smell amazing.